Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation


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Return to Book Page. Members of the McClosky Institute of Voice. Freedom, ease, and power in song and speech for singers, public speakers, executives, and actors! Now in the Fifth Edition, this straightforward, clearly written guide presents David Blair McClosky's highly acclaimed techniques for developing and mastering a more perfect voice as well as rehabilitating voices that have suffered abuse. McClosky's methods, proven effective f Freedom, ease, and power in song and speech for singers, public speakers, executives, and actors!

McClosky's methods, proven effective for more than 50 years, have been used by voice teachers, voice students, and speech pathologists as well as singers, actors, public speakers, executives, salespeople, ministers, broadcasters, and others whose voice use is significant in their life including the late President John F. Practicing McClosky's full range of techniques ensures that individuals can be the caretakers of their own voice and achieve maximum quality and fitness.

Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published November 18th by Waveland Press first published February 21st More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Your Voice at Its Best , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Your Voice at Its Best. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews.

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Sort order. Feb 17, Emily rated it it was amazing Shelves: to-buy , If you're a singer, a public speaker, a voice teacher, or someone interested in vocal performance or health this is an AMAZING book for both the basics and more advanced, applied concepts. Amanda Santo rated it it was amazing Feb 10, Jessica rated it liked it Apr 22, Dena rated it it was amazing Jul 17, Yan Poh Loh rated it liked it Apr 23, Tanya L.

Knickerbocker rated it really liked it May 23, Khalid Gibson rated it it was amazing Dec 05, With decreased use over time, an atrophic process occurs and constitutive protein in each muscle fiber is gradually reduced, and thus, the size of the whole muscle and its contractile properties decrease sign of deconditioning. This change of vocal fold status contributes an adductory advantage to the vocal folds that helps optimize the efficiency of vibratory waving in the cover tissues during speaking and singing.

This adductory advantage can result in greater clarity of vocal tone and increased vocal volume capabilities. As shortener muscle bulk decreases , cover tissues of the left fold are moved slightly away from the right fold, and cover tissues of the right fold are moved slightly away from the left fold. This change of vocal fold status contributes an adductory dis advantage to the vocal folds that can reduce the efficiency of vibratory waving of the cover tissues during speaking and singing.

These effects may be observed visually during laryngeal videoendoscopy as irregular configurations in the waving motions of the vocal fold cover tissues. This adductory disadvantage can result in more air leakage during voicing decreased clarity of vocal tone and in decreased vocal volume capabilities.

When increased conditioning moves the cover tissues of both vocal folds slightly closer to each other, then a clear, non-breathy tone quality can be more readily produced with less contraction intensity in the vocal fold closer muscles. In addition, greater strength in the closer muscles enables them to produce more intense vocal fold closure to generate greater vocal volume with optimal contraction intensity. When decreased conditioning moves the cover tissues of both vocal folds slightly away from each other, then a breathy tone quality is likely unless the vocal folds are closed with greater intensity than would be necessary with optimal conditioning.

Sensory-motor control of vocalization

The generic term for ligaments, tendons, and the like, is connective tissue. Typically, ligament tissue attaches muscles to skeletal parts. Actually, that tissue is diffused through the muscle to form its membranes, and so forth. Its nature, therefore, is to shrink. Range of skeletal motion at joints is diminished if connective tissue is continually slackened, because it shrinks and then cannot allow the actual capable range of motion to occur. Appropriately stretching the connective tissues in legs and arms, for example, increases the range of motion in skeletal joints, and that increases limb movement capabilities for motor skills.

Vocal Effects: Larynx muscles are attached to their skeletal parts by connective tissue anterior and posterior maculae flavae. If people have only engaged in relatively quiet conversation during their lives, then the connective tissue of their vocal fold shortener and lengthener muscles will have shrunk to a degree. If they then attempt to speak or sing what for them would be higher pitches, then the lengthener muscles may have to work harder to stretch the folds to sufficient length in order to produce the intended fundamental frequencies. The shrunken state of the connective tissue also may prevent that person from singing as high as is actually possible.

Hand calluses and vocal fold nodules are similar tissue reactions to stronger impact and shear stresses over time. Titze , p. During speaking and singing, the primary agonist-antagonist functions of the thyroarytenoid and cricothyroid muscles result in changes of vocal fold fundamental frequencies F 0 s , and they do so by lengthening-shortening, thinning-thickening, and tautening-laxing the folds.

When these vocal fold configuration changes occur, they alter the voice source spectra that are introduced into the vocal tract. Voice source spectra are then modified by the changing dimensions of the vocal tract, but the vocal tract can only modify what the larynx introduces into it. Radiated spectra, therefore, will retain various spectral characteristics that were introduced into the vocal tract when the larynx and respiratory system created the original voice source spectra.

Listening brains then are capable of perceiving voice quality changes that are originated at the larynx level, and distinguishing them from voice quality changes that are induced of changing vocal tract dimensions. This theory of vocal registers subscribes to the perspective that the voice qualities that are referred to as vocal registers are brought into acoustic existence by varied states of the oscillating vocal fold tissues.

Those varied states are preponderantly altered by variable coordinations of the internal larynx muscles, but most predominantly by the thyroarytenoid shortener and cricothyroid lengthener muscles. We propose five categories of shortener-lengthener muscle adjustments that produce five perceivable categories of vocal register voice quality that we will describe in anatomic, physiologic, and acoustic terms.

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We have selected five word labels for the five vocal register voice quality categories according to the following criteria. The word labels must:. The voice register labels that we have selected are:. Pulse Register. Pulse register is produced when the cricothyroid muscles lengtheners are uncontracted so that vocal fold length is determined solely by increases and decreases in the contraction of the thyroarytenoids shorteners. The vocal fold mucosa, therefore, is quite short, thick, and lax. There is a comparatively minimal range of subglottal air pressures and minimal adductory force, resulting in a minimal aerodynamic flow between the vocal folds.

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Pulse register can be produced in both speaking and singing. One defining sound characteristic of this register is a series of sound bursts with audible gaps in between each burst. Some vocalists can intentionally shorten and lengthen the temporal gaps, mostly by subtle increases and decreases of subglottal air pressure and aerodynamic flow and slight alterations in the vocal fold shortener and closer muscles. At the present time, speech-voice professionals label the audible gap version of this register as vocal fry or fry.

Presumably, this perceived sound quality reminded some people of the sound of slow-frying food.

Movement of Vocal Cords - Phonation physiology

The CoMeT committee referred to pulse register as Register 1. The more a pulsed F 0 lowers past about Hz, the more experienced voice judges identify the continuing sound as a series of pulses with gaps see Figure 5. The more a pulsed F 0 raises above about Hz, the more experienced voice judges identify continuing sound as vocal tone rather than bursts and gaps. Different vocal tract vowel shapes can produce acoustic overloading of the vocal folds and thus interrupt the continuation of pulsed sound presented later and in Titze, , pp.

Modification of vocal tract vowel shape to avoid the overloading, then, will be necessary for continuation of vocal sound. Titze, Principles of Voice Production. Used with permission. Pulse register may be developed by some singers into an unusually low singing range. Fry also can be used as an initial pathfinder stepping-stone to help some singers-in-training begin to develop their lower register with physical efficiency.

This register is easier to produce when the vocal folds are swollen, so singers with a history of fairly frequent tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking have much greater chance of developing their pulse register coordination.


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In the choral singing of those cultures, contrabasses sometimes sing the bass part one octave lower than the written notation, contributing to a characteristically thick and dark tonal quality. Members of some Asian cultures use pulse register in chanting—Tibetan monks, for instance. The singers then shape their vocal tracts in special ways to amplify harmonic regions so prominently that melodic contours and other acoustic effects can be produced. Lower Register.

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Lower register voice qualities are produced when both the thyroarytenoid and the cricothyroid muscles are simultaneously contracted primary shorteners and lengtheners, respectively , but the thyroarytenoids are more prominently contracted than the cricothyroids Hirano, et al. Various agonist-antagonist contractions of the two muscles result in a range of stabilizations in vocal fold length, thickness, and tautness.

The prominence of contraction by the thyroarytenoid muscles results in generally shorter, thicker, more lax vocal fold cover tissues and a lower range of F 0 s. When compared to the essential quality of upper register, the essential quality of lower register can be described as thicker and more full-bodied. That voice quality would be reflected in its voice source spectra, with the lower partials having greater intensity when compared to the lower partials of upper register voice source spectra. At the present time, various voice professionals have labeled this register as chest register , modal register , or heavy mechanism.

Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation
Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation
Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation
Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation
Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation
Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation Voice in Song and Speech: A Manual for Healthy Phonation

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